Cate Blanchett will be eligible for a Tony Award for the first time later this year, when she makes herBroadway debut in Chekhov adaptation “The Present.”
Blanchett, the two-time Academy Award winner who’s in the Oscar race this year for her performance in “Carol,” will star alongside Richard Roxburgh (“Moulin Rouge”) in a production directed by John Crowley, the stage and film director whose latest screen outing, “Brooklyn,” is in the running for three Oscars including best picture. Based on Anton Chekhov’s untitled first play, discovered posthumously and often referred to as “Platonov,” “The Present” is adapted by Andrew Upton, Blanchett’s husband and frequent stage collaborator.
The production premiered in August at Sydney Theater Company, the organization of which Blanchett and Upton served as co-artistic directors from 2008-12. (After his tenure with his wife, Upton ran the company solo until he stepped down in September.) Aussie critics raved about the show.
Although “The Present” marks Blanchett’s first time on Broadway, she’s appeared on stage in New York several times at non-Broadway venues (such as the Brooklyn Academy of Music) in “Hedda Gabler,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Uncle Vanya” and, most recently, “The Maids.” Many of those productions also featured adaptations by Upton, and in “Vanya,” Blanchett appeared alongside Roxburgh, also making his Broadway debut in “The Present.”
Updated to the post-Perestroika 1990s in Upton’s version, “The Present” centers on former schoolteacher Platonov (Roxburgh) and his relationships with his wife, his friends, and his former students, as well as his relationship with Anna Petrovna, a once-wealthy widow played by Blanchett.
On Broadway, “The Present” will be produced by New York-based Australian expat Stuart Thompson (“King Charles III,” “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”) and the Sydney Theater Company. Full details –including theater, dates and further casting — have yet to be set.